Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Wow, what a downer! I mean why would you want to be reminded of that, let alone have your kids reminded that they are dust?
Ash Wednesday is one of those days which is pretty hard to explain to people. We confess our sin, a lot. I mean, we pretty much talk about sin the whole service, actually, and then we are reminded of our death. Want to come with me?? Not exactly the most inviting service, especially for those used to lots of praise music.
So why do I love it so much? What is it about confessing my sin—a lot—that is so important?
We are kind of a rare church at SLC. We start almost every service with confessing our sin. We say that we messed up, that we can’t even help it—we are in bondage to sin and we can’t free ourselves. But there are a lot of people, even good Christians, who don’t want to think about that.
But if you can’t tell the truth at church, where can you tell it? And the truth is that we DO mess up—all the time. We ignore poverty. We say mean things behind each other’s backs. We are gluttons and prideful and envious. We judge each other before knowing the whole story. I could go on and on….
And we do go on and on because there is something that is so freeing about telling the truth. The truth that we are not perfect. That even though culture will sell us a self-help book to fix any flaw, even if we could fix that one flaw, there will be another. And another…
But if this were not true, we would not need Jesus. If there was anything we could do to fix ourselves, Jesus would just be a really nice guy who said some really neat things.
The truth is, we are messed up. And that is ok. Because we are forgiven. Have you ever had someone find out something about you that you never thought you would want anyone to know, something you are ashamed of, and then when the truth was out and they still loved you, it was almost like you wanted to show your love and gratitude for that person as much as possible?
That is why we confess our sins. Because we don’t need to be afraid that we won’t still be loveable. And telling the truth is how you have a real and a full relationship with another person.
Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return. Amen!


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